It’s estimated that 85 percent of homes in our country have problems with hard water. Although this doesn’t pose any threats to our health, it can take a toll on a number of different things in our home. So what are the effects of hard water and how can you tell if you have it in your home?

Effects of hard water on your plumbing equipment

The main problem with hard water on your plumbing equipment is scale that builds up due to an excess of minerals in your water. This scale can close up your pipes, which can lead to low water pressure in your house. Scale can also build up in your faucets, leading to stains in your sinks, as well as on the bottom of your water heater. If too much scale builds up on the bottom of your water heater, it can restrict its ability to heat the water in the tank and reduce its efficiency.

Effects of hard water on your clothes and skin

Two other places that you’ll see the effects of hard water are in your shower and in your cleaning appliances. The main problem with hard water in your shower, besides possible buildup on the showerhead, is that soap is less effective with hot water. You’ll notice this if you don’t see much foam produced when water mixes with the soap. As a result, the soap’s ability to fight bacteria is lessened and you might feel soapy film on your skin after you shower.

When you wash your clothes with hard water, you have to use more detergent because detergent is less effective in hard water. Over time, this can become expensive for homeowners. Hard water is also bad for your clothes because it causes their colors to fade quicker, their fibers to break down faster and their texture to turn scratchy and uncomfortable.

When you wash your dishes with hard water, you’ll notice that they come out cloudy and spotty instead of clean and clear.

How to prevent the effects of hard water

The best way to prevent the negative effects of hard water is to install a water softener in your home. A water softener lessens the amount of minerals in your water, which helps you avoid the impact that hard water has on your equipment, skin, clothes and dishes.

If you have any questions about the effects of hard water, or if you’d like service from a professional plumber, contact Cabrillo, your San Francisco plumbing, heating and cooling company. We service the San Francisco area and surrounding cities like Burlington, Daly City, Moraga and Orinda.